Title: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Reviewed by: Cassie
The Fairies Say: Magically bewitching!
Summary (from BN.com)
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger--a boy who seems to fade like smoke--appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.
As the hunt for children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know-- about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.
The Near Witch is a story of intrigue and magic. The village has a timeless feel to it and the mystery involved in it is one that will have you wondering what happened. With witches and a budding romance, this book will has a definite fairy tale feel to it, possibly even a bedtime story feel.
Lexi is a rebellious sixteen-year-old who wants to be like her father despite her village's ideal feminine woman. She likes hunting/tracking, she loves carrying her father's knife and wearing his boots. He taught her his beliefs and opened her mind to more possibilities than anyone else would have. For that reason, she has an open mind and believes in magic. She's independent and loves her family. I'll admit, sometimes I felt like I couldn't relate to her, or like throwing the book at her head. I also had a minor issue with her name- Lexi? In a historic-feeling setting? Odd.
The characters are interesting, a bit cookie-cutter, but hey. Her mother, on the other hand, I liked. Even though her mom is broken after Lexi's dad died, she still has a bit of her old spark in her. She helps Lexi in a quiet, unspoken way that I felt was extremely cool for a mom. Lexi's fellow villagers were okay, but Tyler was the stereotypical "territorial friend-who-wants-to-be-more despite rejection." I kept waiting for him to, I dunno, be interesting and try to kiss her, but nope. Just glares- a no he does not have sexy-smolder-eyes, he has in-the-back-alley eyes. At least I imagine so.
On the other hand, the guy Lexi falls for is a witch. And yes, he even calls himself a witch, with a serious face, and does not even think of saying warlock. A male witch... that's like a male nurse! Only few can pull that off... Cole was intriguing, but I felt like he wasn't very developed and that he had younger-YA feel to him. He's mysterious, has a heart-breaking past, and he has powers he can't control. Lexi comes crashing into his life and wabam! he wants to learn to be different.
Overall, I felt like this was more of a younger book, and had a definite fairy tale feel to it. My only issues were that the relationships and characters felt a bit underdeveloped, along with the excitement for the climax.
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